Scottish Energy Minister vows to make the ‘right’ decision on shale gas

Paul Wheelhouse, MSP,
Paul Wheelhouse, MSP

In a new statement to Holyrood MPs, Scottish Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse yesterday  in effect repeated the statement he made in October last year on onshore oil and gas.

He said – again – that the process was fair and impartial and repeated that the findings of the currently ongoing public consultation will be presented to MSPs to vote for, or against, the industry.

He said: “Once the consultation closes and the results have been independently analysed and published, I reiterate our previous commitment to present our recommendation to Parliament and provide an opportunity to vote on it.

“As I said on 6 Oct 2016, we are adopting a carefully considered process for reaching a decision on the future of unconventional oil and gas that ensure the views of the public, the evidence-base and the views of Parliament are fully considered.

“After this, the Scottish Government will come to a considered judgment on the future of unconventional oil and gas in Scotland.

“The results of the consultation on unconventional oil and gas will be a key consideration in finalising our <Scottish> Energy Strategy later this year. Our carefully considered approach to reaching a final position on unconventional oil and gas will ensure that we make the right choice for Scotland founded on the best available evidence.”

The Scot-Govt imposed a ‘temporary’ moratorium on onshore oil and gas exploration in Jan 2015.

A majority of Holyrood MPs have already voted against shale gas fracking when Liberals and Scottish Green MSPs supported the Labour-led motion to defeat the Tories while SNP MSPs collectively abstained. That vote was not binding.

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